Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi came under fire in Parliament yesterday after he refused to respond to questions regarding his attack on judges of the High Court who he accused of being captured by foreign governments.
On Saturday Ziyambi threatened High Court judges for ruling against the extension of former Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term by five years.
Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent), demanded that Ziyambi explain to the House why he chose to go against the principle of separation of powers. Said Mliswa:
My understanding is that in the doctrine of separation of powers which we must all understand, the Judiciary is independent, so is the Executive and Parliament.
Now that the matter has been appealed already, the judges that are handling this matter are already compromised. They are under threat.
It has never happened where a Minister of Justice, who is the father of justice, issues a statement like that and goes political in saying that some judges belong to the opposition.
We never knew anything (about) that any judge belongs to the opposition as much as we believe that his discharge of duty as a minister is for the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. There is now a constitutional crisis.
Other than that, he must resign but he must be given a chance because his credibility and that of the justice delivery system of Zimbabwe which must exercise judicial prudence has been failed by one person.
Ziyambi however, refused to be drawn into discussing the issue, saying he will not comment on a matter that is before the courts. He said:
There are those that wrote a letter indicating that they want that application to be subjected to the High Court, and so it is sub judice (under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere).